Lawmakers Work To Redraw Congressional Lines, Election Delay Possible

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  Legislative leaders proposed legislative map including the hometown of incumbents 
 NC General Assembly

Under the House's bill to move the primary, a filing period for US congressional candidate would reopen from Wednesday, March 16, to Friday, March 25.

Currently, Robeson County is nearly entirely included in the 8th District, which has been represented by Richard Hudson, a Republican, since 2013.

The state House and Senate have now approved new Congressional districts, which they say comply with the law.

Three federal judges ruled two North Carolina districts violated the Voting Rights Act, including the 1st District.

Republican lawmakers released a map of the new districts late Wednesday afternoon, revealing Davidson County's shift to the 13th District as one of its most drastic changes.

Legislators met a Friday deadline to complete a court-ordered rewrite of North Carolina's illegally gerrymandered congressional voting maps, all the while looking ahead to further legal challenges and waiting to see if the U.S. Supreme Court would step in. If the high court stays the three-judge panel's order, the plans for the new maps and the new election setup would come to a halt.

What the General Assembly decides this week may not be the last word before a U.S. House primary. We can only reiterate that this circus underscores the need for a non-partisan approach to the decennial redrawing of congressional and legislative districts.

Rep. Renee Ellmers' Harnett County home would stay in the 2nd District. Leaders of the redistricting committee say the district should still favor Democrats.

Runoff elections have been eliminated for this year. The new 12th would be entirely within Mecklenburg County and contain no incumbent.

The new districts have altered the shape and range of almost all of North Carolina's 13 districts, leaving those running for the U.S. House of Representatives scrambling.

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The House on Friday gave final approval to a new map dividing the state's 13 U.S. House seats. That's despite the fact that neither Democrats nor Republicans enjoy a wide advantage in statewide races.

"This is going to create a lot of chaos and confusion but this is what the Republican Party has done". It does not appear that changes to the 10th and 11th districts would dramatically change the party leanings of either. The group will "consider any other legislation necessary to hold the 2016 congressional elections", stated McCrory.

Rouzer's 7th District would include the southern half of Johnston County, rather than all of it, and lose parts of Cumberland, Robeson and Hoke counties. But as the mapmakers themselves admit, the results will be no different: In a state that votes roughly 50-50 for president and Congress, the congressional delegation will remain 10-3 Republican.

Leaders in the Senate also rejected an appeal by Senator Jeff Jackson that would have allowed lawmakers to end partisan redistricting and move forward with an independent, non-partisan redistricting approach.

The rest of Mecklenburg County will make up the 12th District, represented by Democrat Alma Adams.

Republicans decided not to include race at all in drawing the new map, which upset black lawmakers who said federal law requires that it be considered to a degree. "When one changes one district, one is forced to change other districts".

"This map is politically gerrymandering", Graham said.

"They could shoot it down", said State Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-90, of Mount Airy.

McGrady said legislators attempted "to split as few counties and as few districts as we could across the state...."

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